June 14, 2022

Emergency Room or Urgent Care: An Easy Guide to Make Sure Your Kids Don’t Divorce You

An awkward landing after a double bounce on a trampoline has left your five-year-old in tears and holding her floppy wrist. Decision time: treat at home and wait it out, or go to the ER or Urgent Care? 

My wife and I have three girls. This situation happens more times than we’d like to admit (we can’t even imagine what you parents of raucous boys go through). I believe our five-year-old thinks there is some kind of magic candy that lives in that crevice between a door and its frame. We are surprised she has any of those cute little fingers left. Our three-year-old will put on a cape and leap from tall furniture in a single bound. When our kids get hurt, we go through the mental gymnastics that oftentimes look like this: 

Do we treat at home, wait it out, and see what happens? What if we wait and it’s bad and we are putting our kid through unnecessary pain, or our inaction leads to a 20-year coma? Then we are really bad parents and this will scar them for life and they’ll grow up to hate us and they’ll divorce us (anyone ever see Irreconcilable Differences with Drew Barrymore?) and we’ll never meet our grandkids. 

Ok, maybe that’s a bit dramatic. But whether it’s a serious illness, a slip and fall, or something in between, humans are really bad at processing information in a logical way when stressed. There are few things more stressful than a sudden medical situation.

Here is our family’s rule: if it is LIFE THREATENING, go to the emergency room. If either my wife or I think that the situation is life threatening (whether our kids or either of us are hurt), we go to the ER. Remember, when stressed we make bad decisions, so if one of us thinks it’s life threatening, then we head straight to the ER. No questions asked. Better to be safe than having our kids divorce us.

If we decide that it’s not life threatening, we use CrowdHealth’s Virtual Urgent Care service. It costs us nothing. It’s open 24/7, and we can talk to a doctor who will give us a professional opinion on best next steps. Maybe the doc says, “Go to the ER.” Maybe she says, “Go to Urgent Care.” Or maybe she says, “Everything’s going to be fine. Just keep an eye on it.”  It takes just a few minutes to get a Virtual Urgent Care doc on the line. In the event the injury or illness is not life threatening, it’s worth the few minutes. On the other hand, if you go to the ER, it will likely cost $2,000 minimum, and probably closer to $5,000. 

In summary, if you feel like the health event is life threatening, then go to the ER. But if it’s not, don’t waste your time sitting in the ER for four hours with a bunch of sick people, only to be faced with a steady stream of bills, when you could have been treated by a virtual visit or a quick trip to your local urgent care. Learn more about simple ways you can save on medical costs at www.joincrowdhealth.com.